Posted by: David D. Daggett | January 23, 2012

The Byproduct

The Byproduct

      It seems we are all looking for good looks, wealth, fitness, and of course sex appeal. We want it all and we want it now.

The Byproduct

     Our pop culture tells us we should have all of this and that it comes neatly packaged in a secret formula or a pill. Accordingly, the pursuit of happiness has become a perpetual quest for instant gratification.

     We all know or have seen people who are rich, or popular, or in positions of power who look like they have it all. However, when we look closer we find problems with alcohol and substance abuse, marital difficulties, depression, poor health, and a multitude of other difficulties and frailties. We are tempted to be jealous, but need to learn to be content in the knowledge that an ongoing commitment to hard work and service to others always pays off in the end.

     One of the ironic rules of life is that the pursuit of fulfillment and satisfaction, aka happiness, can’t be pursued. Rather, it is the natural byproduct of what we contribute to life. Happiness isn’t a goal. The harder we try to achieve happiness, the more elusive it becomes. Happiness comes out of our hard work and our actions. Happiness isn’t the goal, but the byproduct of our actions.

     Despite all the claims we hear, the truth is that the road to fulfillment and satisfaction has two simple yet difficult prongs. Hard work and service to others are the building blocks for a life of joy that is built over a lifetime. Certainly there are tips, tricks, and efficiencies on the path along the way. But, there is no shortcut or magic path.

     Perhaps this is an area where Ironman racing is a perfect metaphor. The hundreds and hundreds of hours of training, focus on nutrition, and equipment details all lead to those precious finish line moments. Certainly there are techniques and training approaches, but in the long run there is no shortcut to the finish line.

       Service to others works the same way. Dale Carnegie says that it is impossible to be depressed if you are helping others. Finish line volunteers are always smiling. Likewise, work that has meaning to others is always more satisfying.

Becoming the byproduct,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: